Natural Thinking
Essex Life|October 2019
2019 marks 60 years since the beginnings of the Essex Wildlife Trust, first known as the Essex Naturalists’ Trust. Emily McParland looks at what has been achieved in that time and the work still to do
Emily McParland

This month is a very special one for the Essex Wildlife Trust. On October 3, EWT celebrates a milestone year, marking the trust’s 60th anniversary. On this day in 1959, a group of Essex volunteers gathered at County Hall in Chelmsford on an autumn afternoon. These volunteers were brought together by their concerns for wildlife and habitat protection in Essex, so they formed the Essex Naturalists’ Trust, which became Essex Wildlife Trust in the early 1990s.

Essex Wildlife Trust has come a long way since then, with 11 visitor centers that see 1 million visitors a year, 87 nature reserves throughout the county, 60,000 children engaged annually and hugely ambitious environmental projects and species reintroductions to help wildlife thrive.

Kelly Osborne, a volunteer coordinator at Essex Wildlife Trust, explains: ‘What started as a few passionate volunteers has paved the way for real community involvement in the county. Now, 2,000 volunteers regularly donate their time to the trust; from helping to deliver education groups, joining a weekly work party, collecting species records or working behind the scenes in our main office, our extraordinary network of volunteers has allowed Essex Wildlife Trust to continue to grow and do more for wildlife. We’re incredibly thankful to them.’

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